Expatriates have unique and serious consideration when choosing both an expatriate insurance provider and a plan to cover themselves and their families. There are a variety of international health, travel, and trip insurance plans. For this section, we will focus on International Health and Medical plans that are especially important for expatriates. Specifically, this section provides detailed information on expat healthcare coverage for expatriates living abroad for multiple years.
Expatriate Health Insurance Plans
Many expats are not covered under a corporate or group health plan. For those individuals (or families), an international health plan should be purchased. These policies provide either worldwide or regional medical coverage and also can include components of trip insurance, evacuation services, and repatriation benefits. The best providers have global networks of healthcare providers which you can access and will “direct-pay” to hospitals & caregivers.
How Much do Expatriate Medical Insurance Plans Cost
Premium, or cost, calculations are typically based on a policyholders country of origin, age, medical history and country of coverage. Typically plans will offer two areas of cover; a) Worldwide, excluding the USA or, the more comprehensive option, b) Worldwide coverage. Other companies may have separate pricing by region and will possibly exclude certain areas of high risk. Providers are looking at both the risks associated with living in certain areas and the costs of healthcare in those areas when determining the price. Most providers will rank countries by the cost of medical care and will adjust premiums accordingly.
Expat Healthcare – Portability and Maintenance of Cover
Expat healthcare insurance plans for expatriates are typically portable – meaning they will cover you for periods of times in all countries. As expatriates are more likely to be traveling to multiple countries throughout the year, a global policy provides for continuous coverage regardless of where their sickness occurs (typically limited after returning to your home country). If you need coverage in your home country as well, make sure you find a provider that can provide worldwide coverage.
Expat Insurance: Application and Underwriting
Underwriting is, simply put, the process through which your application is reviewed (approved or denied) and your premium is determined. Typically, medical underwriting is where the insurance provider asks a series of medical questions during the application process and provides the applicant with details of what they will and will not be prepared to cover. The applicant will usually be required to get documentation from their doctors as well as other healthcare providers. Occasionally, if the applicant is symptom and treatment free of any medical issues for a specified period, they may be offered cover on the understanding that they will be underwritten every time they claim against their policy.
Our recommended Expatriate Health Plan:
Global Medical Insurance®
Individual & family – Flexible long-term annually renewable plan.
Global Medical Insurance (GMI) is a flexible, long-term, annually renewable, U.S.-style major medical insurance program designed for U.S. citizens living abroad, and non-U.S. citizens throughout the world.
GMI offers the flexibility to select from an assortment of four unique benefit plan options – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Plus, and Platinum – each with different levels of coverage. In addition, there are different areas of coverage available, optional riders, flexible underwriting methods, as well as multiple deductibles and modes of payment.
If you would like to speak to an independent insurance agent that can answer your specific questions please call 866.575.3313. We look forward to assisting you with your International Travel Insurance needs.